Keith Urban Once Forgot His Guitar Solo During a CMA Fest Performance With Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift

The superstar recalls how the performance was nearly a “trainwreck”

Keith Urban is one of music’s preeminent guitarists, but even the best of the best can forget a guitar line or two.

For Urban, that forgetful moment just happened to come when he was performing “Highway Don’t Care” alongside Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw, in front of thousands of fans at CMA Fest in 2013. He recalled the incident while chatting with Tim McGraw for McGraw’s Beyond the Influence show on Apple Music Country.

“I will always appreciate the best guitar lead ride ever in ’Highway Don’t Care,'” McGraw said. “You blew my mind and on that record. And so that will forever, and you almost killed me with it live on the ACM awards.”

“Well, I almost killed myself with it when we played the CMA Fest and I was halfway through the solo and went, ’Oh, I probably should have practiced this before I got out here because I totally forgot it,'” Urban responded. “And I can see the trainwreck look on my face and me trying to look like it ain’t nothing but a thing. But inside I was like, ’What the hell is going on here?’

“And then suddenly all those years of playing clubs comes in handy. And I remember the great phrase, there is no wrong notes, just the look on your face,” he adds.

“No wrong notes, just the look on your face,” McGraw agreed.

“Highway Don’t Care” was a No. 1 hit Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, and won the CMA’s Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year honors in 2013. The video was also nominated for overall Video of the Year as well as Collaborative Video of the Year at the 2014 CMT Music Awards.